Tate’s Cairn ~ Easy

It was a dull, dreary Thursday and a few friends and I decided to add some sunshine by hiking. We thought we’d do an easy hike in Kowloon and that’s what we did. A concrete, uphill climb to Tate’s Cairn Observatory.

Tate’s Cairn (Chinese: 大老山; ‘Big Brother Mountain’) is a mountain in Hong Kong at 583 metres (1,913 ft) in height. It is one of the peaks of the Kowloon Ridge and falls within Ma On Shan Country Park. – Wikipedia

The route

Difficulty: 4/10 a climb up Shatin Pass road. Approximately 75 floors.

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes with pictures and a stop to enjoy brownies and fenugreek crackers.

How to get there: I took the MTR from Central through the Tsuen Wan line (red line) to Mong Kok where I changed to the Tiu Keng Leng line ( green line) to Wong Tai Sin. I exited at B3 and met my friends Lamiya, Nina, Rhythma and Cathy there. We took the green mini bus 18 M to Sha Tin pass road. He stopped at Fat Jong temple.

We started walking uphill up the Sha Tin pass road.

We saw a beautiful temple in the distance with pretty pink Bahunias adorning it.

However, it was extremely misty and we couldn’t see the city down below. We passed the Lion Rock Country park trail and continued towards our right up the road.

You can hike up to Lion’s Rock from here.


We came to an area on our right which had public toilets and a morning walk park. There was a map giving directions towards Tate’s Cairn too.

We relieved ourselves at the public loos and continued back on Sha Tin pass road.

The path was covered in white due to the mist.

Lamiya and Nina enjoying the view or whatever they can view 😁

This trail is also a part of the Maclehose trail stage 5.

We came to an intersection but continued straight on the Sha Tin Pass road.

It was getting foggier and foggier. We felt we were walking in the clouds.

Got to see beautiful flowers and a web glistening with beads of rain water on it.

Chinese Privet

We came to an Observation post but we couldn’t observe anything. It was as white as a sheet out there.

We took a left and got on to Fei Ngo Shan Road near the pavilion.

It was beautiful; the walk up to the observatory.

Lamiya enjoying the mist

We had fun with Nina doing a little jig on the road whilst walking through the mist.

Finally we were close the observatory was near.

We turned to go towards the observatory. Along the way we got to see the fragrant jasmine flower bush and a tiny Guan yu statue .

Yogini Lamiya
Guan Yu

We got to see the red powder puff flowers too which resembled the corona virus 😅.

At last we reached the Tate’s Cairn Observatory. The top! We sat on the steps for a while, gorged on brownies and an Indian snack called Bhakri which is made of chickpea flour and fenugreek leaves with spices.

The not very visible ball

After we chilled for a bit we walked downhill and reached Jat’s Incline. Along the way we were again greeted by beautiful flora.

Looks like a face

We continued downhill on Jat’s incline. Passed the Ma On Shan country park board, a public toilet and pretty flowers.

We got to see shrimp flowers that resembled shrimp 🍤.

Shrimp flower

We continued down the slope which seemed never ending. Passed the Jat’s Incline morning walkers garden and toilets too. Thankfully!

Toilets woohoo 🥳

We spotted pretty Acanthaceae flowers poking out from a fence as we walked down the slope.

And also the Bombax Celia tree or the cotton tree or Malabar silk cotton tree as it is commonly called. ( I sound like a botanist 😁).

Bombax Ceiba
The Bombax Ceiba flowers

We finally reached a mini bus stop on Ngau Chi Wan street where we ended our hike. The link is here: https://www.16seats.net/eng/gmb/gk_16a.html. We took 16 A to Choi Hung Mtr. The bus stopped just outside exit A2.

Lamiya, Rhythma and I decided to go to Sangeetha Vegetarian restaurant at East Tsim Tsha Tsui and had tasty dosas and piping hot filter coffee.

Ghee podi dosa

A fantastic Thursday well spent with good company. The hike was not difficult. It was just a steep, sloped climb uphill. Even though it was extremely misty, it was still a pretty hike. Though on a sunny day, the views would’ve been fantastic.

However, this is March and the weather is erratic.

But do try this hike. It’s a great workout and you’ll be amazed by the beautiful flora along the way.

Do follow me for more of my adventures on https://www.facebook.com/honkiehiker.

Stay safe and happy hiking!

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